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Food for Thought: Clearing Brain Fog

Posted by Christa Knox, MA MScN Apr 10 2017

As we know, the lasting ramifications of strokes are as individualized as our own fingerprints. One common thread, however, is inflammation. Our brain becomes inflamed with the initial trauma and as it works to heal itself, but when the inflammation persists and becomes chronic, it can hinder the healing process and can leave us with more deficits than are necessary.

Many of us might have ‘brain fog’ from time to time, but after a stroke, it is much more pronounced. “Brain fog” sounds like a harmless side effect, but it can be quite debilitating. It describes the feeling of being in a hazy reality, where you feel disoriented, scattered, and dull. You might also have trouble concentrating and remembering things.

Recurring brain fog may leave you: feeling groggy or confused, unable to focus, with a poor memory, stuttering or stammering when speaking, processing information slowly. These are symptoms for many of us post-stroke, but there are foods we can easily incorporate into our diets to lower inflammation and help the recovery process.

Omega-3s are essential fats that build brain cell membranes, reduce brain inflammation and brain fog, and promote the formation of new brain cells. They can improve your mood and memory and give you protection against brain disorders ranging from depression to dementia. Try today: salmon, herring, sardines, avocados, ground flaxseed, walnuts, Omega-3 supplement

Herbs & Spices contain phytonutrients that can have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and even anti-cancer properties. Some can even cross the blood brain barrier. Try today: turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, garlic, pepper

Berries are antioxidant-rich, packed with vitamins and minerals, and blueberries are especially good at protecting our brains from degeneration and stress. They can prevent inflammation in the brain that contribute to neuronal damage and improve both motor control and cognition. Try today: blueberries, cherries, raspberries, currants, blackberries

Are you struggling with brain fog? What’s one way you’re going to combat it today?

Christa Knox, MA, MScN, is a stroke survivor and holistic nutritionist in Portland, Ore. Visit Christa's website.

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